Sport-Cyber hack creating a "crazy scenario", warns Cram

Fri Sep 23, 2016 12:42pm EDT
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By Alan Baldwin

LONDON (Reuters) - The hacking of confidential medical exemptions risks tarnishing innocent athletes and turning people off elite sport, former world champion runner Steve Cram has warned.

The 55-year-old Briton, the 1983 world champion at 1,500 meters and 1984 Olympic silver medalist, spoke before a fifth batch of documents were published by cyber hackers on the website on Friday.

The data related to Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUEs), which allow athletes to take banned substances for verified medical needs and are signed off by sports federations. There is no suggestion any of those named have broken any rules.

The world anti-doping agency (WADA) has said it believes the hackers are Russian and gained access to its anti-doping administration and management system (ADAMS) via an IOC-created account for last month's Rio Games.

Cram told BBC radio, for whom he commentates, that the TUE system was robust and athletes were being unfairly dragged into the spotlight.

"We are just normal people and normal people suffer hayfever and asthma that require long and short-term medication," he said. "Does that mean you cannot do sport?

"I think we are getting into a crazy scenario where we are assuming everyone is cheating. They aren't. We are frightening people away from top-level sport."

His words echoed those of British hockey gold medalist Sam Quek, who wrote last week about her fears that athletes could risk their health rather than applying for an exemption.   Continued...